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Special Event

Election 2000: Jesse Jackson Addresses Protest Rally in Palm Beach County

Aired November 9, 2000 - 1:16 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: We reported on the protest in West Palm Beach county by the folks who say they were confused by the ballots there, may have cast their ballot for the wrong man. And 19,120 of those ballots have been tossed out because of it.

Jesse Jackson now is in the group, and he is speaking. We'll listen to what he has to say.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

JESSE JACKSON: ... And it's fair that must apply to Florida as well as it does anywhere in the world.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

While there is over and over again a call for a recount in West Palm, there must be a first count.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

We find around the state various irregularities that undercut the credibility of a great election, a great campaign, by two worthy opponents. In a democracy, everybody counts, every vote must count. And at this point, we do not know who won the election because all the votes have not been counted.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

And once all the votes are counted, we must honor and respect the winner. The winner must win with grace, the loser must be magnanimous. We do not know who won or lost because we do not yet have a fair count on the first vote.

We know the people stood in long lines and polls closed on them before they had a chance to vote. According to the law, if you're in line when the polls close, all those in line must be counted.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

We know many Haitian Americans were denied assistance in the voting booth, which they can expect and accept by law. We know in some instances that a shortage of ballots, people did show up to vote, and their votes must be counted. We know in West Palm, the people pushed the lever as it were for Gore and they got Buchanan.

Even Buchanan rejects votes he did not earn.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

Buchanan said he did not campaign here, he did not really seek votes here. He believed that those votes he got was based upon a misalignment in the process. If you're driving your car down the road and your wheels are not aligned properly, you have a wreck. And on Tuesday, there was a wreck in West Palm.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

This ballot is deceptive. So my friends, if we remain disciplined and focused, we will win, because we voted.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

I'm impressed with this coalition. Can we stand a multi-racial, multi-cultural, American, one big tent coalition.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

In West Palm, the issue here today is not about black and white, it's about wrong and right.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

WATERS: "The issue today not about black and white but by wrong and right." Jesse Jackson speaking for the voters Palm Beach county. You know about the confusing ballot, or what some say was the confusing ballot, on election day, making them believe they were voting for Al Gore when in fact they were voting for Buchanan, Pat Buchanan. Jesse Jackson saying even Buchanan rejects the votes he did not earn.

Jesse Jackson, with the folks in Palm Beach county, citing the irregularities that many are charging, and asking that every vote must count because not every vote has been counted.

And again, we are expecting within the next hour or 10-20 minutes or so an emergency hearing in federal court in West Palm about these voter ballots and the so-called irregularities and it is going to be a busy day -- Natalie.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, all the while, the recount continues. Everyone watching Tallahassee for that.

CNN's Mike Boettcher joins us again to bring us the latest on the numbers and the count -- Mike.

MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, I want to clear something up here. There are two separate counts of votes going on here that people are using. And in the audience, you might be a little confused by this. I know I am standing here, and I'm in the middle this. But there are two counts -- there is the official state count, when the counties recount those votes they send them here to Tallahassee. Their latest figures are, with 39 county reporting, is that there is a gap of 1,773 between Bush and Gore with Bush leading.

But there is a second count being kept by the Associated Press, which on its own and other news organization is contacting local counties and is asking them what their results were on the county level.

Now so far they have polled 45 counties and, of those -- with those 45 counties they are reporting a gap of 795 with Bush leading.

So if you hear two different figures there is the state figure and then there is the higher figure. Frankly, the state has lagged behind the Associated Press accounting of the counties.

We've been asking the state for more figures. We know they have more up there. And they say that they will be coming with those throughout the day. They want to make very sure that they don't make any more mistakes and -- because this is contentious and controversial enough as it is. And they say they want to make sure everything is right. So I just wanted to explain that's why you hear two different sets of figures. We will try to keep that very clear for you, Natalie.

ALLEN: As people can see -- you will see in a minute when we put the count back up there -- can we get that back up? People will be able to see that we've got AP down there in the corner, that means these are the numbered that we're getting from AP, who directly contacting the counties. So the AP is a little bit ahead of the -- as Mike said -- the state, which is releasing these from Tallahassee as they get them.

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